Parents on the edge of divorce know that the one of the most difficult tasks is figuring out how much time the children will spend with each parent. There are too many circumstances in a children’s custody case to count. If you must endure this process soon, here are a few key areas to remember when determining your child’s future:

What you can provide

Like other states, the California courts aim to find a conclusion that will serve the best interests of the child. A large concern is to determine if each parent can financially support their children’s health care, education, welfare and other physical needs.

You must be able to provide your children with sufficient food and shelter when it is your turn to take care of them. If you have built up a lot of debt or do not have a stable and fruitful income, the court is less likely to take your side.

This is also important to review because it also determines the amount of child support you have to pay if you lose custody of your children.

The children’s relationship to you

Generally, the state of California would prefer that parents share joint custody of the children so kids do not feel like they are losing a parent. If you and your ex do not agree on this, the court considers numerous factors to determine which of you provides a better emotional connection to your children.

The children’s personal preferences are sometimes taken into consideration by the court. If the children are older and have enough experience to know what each parent is like, the court may value their input. It is areas like this that can counter other factors, such as financial condition. The parent with higher income might not win primary custody because the court considers if they spend more time at work than they do at home.

If your ex has a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, criminal activity, neglect or any mental or physical conditions that would inhibit their parenting abilities, letting the court know about this is crucial.

Where you are located

If your divorce will result in an out-of-state move, then this is about to get more complicated.

Parents who wish to move their children out of state with them will need to prove that it will serve the best interests of the children and would provide better than their ex and the home state of California.

Parents who want to keep their children in California with them have plenty of counter points to back them up if the child has been living in the state for a long time.

If the state has to make the custody decision, they will consider the children’s history and relationships within the state. They will more likely side with the parent staying in California if they believe the children would have a difficult time adjusting to a move rather than remaining in familiar territory.

However, not every factor is a guaranteed victory. Before you and your ex debate your situation, analyze every aspect of custody very carefully to present as good of a case as you can.